January 2007

Schilling To Pitch In 2008

Curt Schilling has decided to pitch in 2008, and he’s currently in contract discussions with the Red Sox.  He’s a free agent after the ’07 season, during which he’ll make $13MM.  Schilling told WEEI that he won’t consider pitching in New York.  He hopes to finish negotiations with the Red Sox before spring training, one way or another.

PECOTA likens Schilling to Gaylord Perry.  BP’s projection system values Schilling at $8.4MM in 2008. 

In my 2007 RotoAuthority Fantasy Guide, I’ve projected Schilling to post a 3.70 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 195 innings this year.

Latest On Todd Helton Trade

UPDATE: Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News says the Rockies are demanding an elite prospect from Boston, which might hold up the deal.  The Rox have agreed to pick up $40MM, but want one of Daniel Bard, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen, Clay Buchholz, or maybe Jon Lester.  Fat chance on Buchholz or Bard.

Tons of Todd Helton stories in today’s papers; let’s see if there’s anything new.

Michael Silverman posted this info yesterday but I didn’t mention it: the Rockies are the driving force behind this deal.  Makes sense, given that Boston has no strong need for Helton and shouldn’t give up a lot of young talent.  The Rockies have made proposals, but the Red Sox have rejected all of them.  Silverman mentions most of the names we heard yesterday: Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen, Julian Tavarez, Mike Lowell.

Nick Cafardo mentions that back in November, the talk was about a Helton for Manny Ramirez trade.  Not sure how that would make sense for Boston.  Cafardo says the current talks don’t include Manny.  He says the Rockies want one or two young players who can help soon.   

The Denver Post says Helton wants a deal made soon, if it happens.  He may or may not have imposed a deadline on the Rockies.  He confirmed his interest in Boston to the paper.

The New York Daily News says the Red Sox are insisting on the inclusion of Matt Clement and Lowell.  Clement will pitch by the All-Star break in the best case scenario after September shoulder surgery.  Bill Madden’s source says the essence of a deal is in place, and the Rockies have agreed to eat half of Helton’s contract. 

David Murphy Drawing Interest

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe had an interesting tidbit at the bottom of his column today. He says the Red Sox and Marlins haven’t discussed center fielder David Murphy in a while, but Murphy is drawing interest from various clubs and talks could be renewed with Florida.  Cafardo notes that the Fish might part with lower-ceiling guys like Ricky Nolasco or Yusmeiro Petit but want to keep Taylor Tankersley.

The Red Sox passed on Conor Jackson to take Murphy in the 2003 draft.  Baseball America doesn’t place him among Boston’s top ten prospects, but considers his center field defense respectable.  Murphy improved his production upon a promotion to Triple A in 2006.  Translating his work at Pawtucket to a Major League Equivalent nets a .238/.311/.376 result.  PECOTA sees something similar for ’07.  Remarkably, that’d be an improvement upon Marlins center fielders last season.  By ’08 Murphy could develop a little more power and become a solid regular.

White Sox Keen On Rowand?

The Philadelphia Inquirer mentioned today that Aaron Rowand remains a favorite of White Sox management.  According to the paper, the Sox are expected to try to sign him as a free agent after 2007.  Of course, Kenny Williams and Pat Gillick seem to get along well these days, so a deal could be struck.  On the other hand, Ryan Sweeney or Brian Anderson could be a solid center fielder by 2008 for the league minimum.

Two days ago, Buster Olney mentioned that the Padres were kicking around the idea of sending a reliever to Philly for Rowand.

Red Sox Discussing Helton Trade

UPDATE: Tracy Ringolsby says the Rox would absorb more than half of Helton’s contract, if they get the players they want.  Helton would also consider trades to Atlanta or St. Louis, but those teams aren’t interested.  Boston has proposed the inclusion of Mike Lowell and former Rockie Julian Tavarez.

Also, Colorado’s CEO acknowledged the talks that will continue into next week.  He also called Helton’s contract fair, so it’s hard to take his words at face value.

Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post has the scoop: the Red Sox are discussing a Todd Helton trade with the Rockies.  Helton has said in the past that he’d consider waiving his no-trade to play in Boston; he’s aware of the current negotiations.

Renck reports that the Rockies like Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen and are willing to eat some salary.  Meanwhile, Buster Olney mentions that talks began last fall between the two clubs.  Olney speculates that the Red Sox might need Matt Clement included.  He also feels that Kevin Youkilis and/or Mike Lowell might be part of such a deal.  However, third base is well-blocked in Colorado.

Ken Rosenthal chimes in, mentioning that money is the main holdup in a deal.  The Rockies would receive Hansen, and hope to get Jacoby Ellsbury too.  A couple of sources told Rosenthal that Lowell is not in the deal.

As I mentioned before, Helton is probably worth half of his remaining five year, $90MM contract at best.  I would imagine the Rockies would have to throw down $20MM at least.

If the Red Sox could somehow keep Youkilis while adding Helton and Drew, their offense would become an unstoppable wall of OBP not unlike the Yankees.

Over at RotoAuthority, I have a look at Helton’s possible replacement in Colorado.

Buehrle Expected To Leave White Sox

At SoxFest yesterday, there was an amusing back-and-forth between Kenny Williams and Mark Buehrle.  While they were in the same room, they exchanged barbs through reporters.

Buehrle feels Williams said directly that the southpaw would not be back with the Sox in ’08.  It seems that Williams alluded to that in a more roundabout way, however.  Bottom line: both parties seem to agree that Buehrle will price himself out of the White Sox’s range.

The lefty needs a major bounce-back season to snag the huge deal he seemed in line for before 2006.  He posted a 6.44 ERA in the second half of ’06.  He’ll probably give the Cardinals a decent hometown discount and eventually work something out with Walt Jocketty.  Still, would he take less than five years and $60MM?

The Cardinals could easily be Buehrle’s third team, as Williams might want to exchange Buehrle for some nice prospects before 2007 ends.  A lot will depend on the development of young pitchers and the team’s place in the standings.

Mariners Sign Jeff Weaver

UPDATE: The Seattle Times says it’s a done deal at one year, $8MM.  Weaver can earn another $1.4MM in incentives.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times indicated today that the Ms and Jeff Weaver are nearing a one-year contract, as the pitcher would like to re-enter the free agent market after the season.  (However, Adam Rubin says it’s for two years and about $16MM).

The signing would push southpaw Jake Woods to the bullpen.  The Ms signed another southpaw, Arthur Rhodes, to help in the pen as well.  Rhodes pitched for Seattle from 2000-03 before leaving as a free agent.

Both the Times and the PI indicate that Seattle’s second choice would be Mark Redman if the Weaver deal falls through.  The Cardinals had offered Weaver a base of $6MM per season over two years, plus incentives, but they appear out of the mix.  Same goes for the Bucs.

Rumor Roundup

There are a host of smaller stories floating around, so I will mention them in one post.

Trading Todd Helton seems to be a touchy subject in Denver.  But I don’t think that since Dan O’Dowd made this bed, he has to lie in it.  Yes, the insane contract was his mistake, but if he can do something to improve the team’s outlook and give them the payroll flexibility to compete for the rest of the decade, he has to do it.  Baseball is a business, even if Helton is well-liked and wants to stay in Colorado.  Seems that he might veto any trade though.

Didn’t realize Shawn Chacon‘s contract can be bought out for less than a million in spring training.  I think the Pirates should do this and bring in a decent starter.  Maybe not Tony Armas Jr., but Jon Lieber would be cool if the Phils ate some salary.  If the Bucs can get a little defense going on they could almost contend in the NL Central.  They shouldn’t waste 100 innings on Chacon.

Paul Lo Duca is a free agent after ’07 and wants to talk contract extension. The Mets seem a little reluctant.

Would it make sense to trade Adam Dunn for Brad Penny?

How cool would it be to have the Marlins’ manager on your jury?  AND John Schuerholz in the jury pool for the same case?

Buster Olney reports that the Phils and Padres are kicking around an Aaron Rowand trade.  San Diego would send a reliever for him.

RotoAuthority projects Scott Kazmir for ’07.

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Calling All Google Checkout Masters?

This might be a little harder to find than an Excel expert, but it’s worth a shot.  I need to integrate Google Adwords Conversion Tracking with Google Checkout, which is much more difficult than it should be.  Similarly I need to set up Yahoo Conversion Tracking with Checkout.

What’s more, I want to set up Google Analytics to analyze conversions from all sources.

If that was all Greek to you, no worries.  But if that made perfect sense to you and you do this stuff in your sleep, drop me a line at mlbtraderumors@gmail.com.  I’ll pay a flat fee for the project.  Thanks.

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Mariners In Lead For Jeff Weaver

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Mariners are the frontrunners to sign free agent starter Jeff Weaver.  An agreement could be reached tonight once the number of years is decided. 

This would be a Bill Bavasi signing I actually wouldn’t mind.  Pushing Baek/Woods out of the rotation is a good thing, and the commitment to Weaver shouldn’t be huge.  It’s a revamped rotation for Seattle, though Weaver doesn’t fit the groundball mold of a lot of their other offseason acquisitions (Ramirez, Batista, Reitsma).